Primary and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis

J Neurol Sci. 2003 Feb 15;206(2):153-5. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(02)00427-6.


The progressive phase of multiple sclerosis (MS) is the one most often associated with irreversible accumulation of disability. An important question remains about the place of primary progressive MS (PP-MS): does it form an integral part of the disease spectrum, or is it maybe a distinct entity? This question could apparently be very theoretical, but it is not, as patients with PP-MS remain orphans when regarding disease-modifying treatments. Thus, they are usually excluded from therapeutic trials. A clue to this question could be the comparison between the different MS subtypes with a progressive phase. We discuss here the clinical similarities and differences between secondary and primary progressive MS.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / pathology
  • Prognosis